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Gear Guide Boot Buying Guide, OutdoorPlaces.Com

 

 

 OutdoorPlaces.Com Boot Buying Gear Guide - Foot Care

 

 
Taking
care of your feet is just as important as taking care of your boots.  It doesn't matter if you have the right socks, the perfect boot, and your on the perfect trail.  Sooner or later if you do any large amount of hiking, you will get a hot spot, a blister, a rub, a strain, or a twisted ankle.  We offer some sage advice on foot care.

 

  • Keep your feet clean, dry, and in good condition.  If your boots get wet to the point you are swimming inside of them, it is time to stop walking.  Feet that are wet will blister very quickly and can cause a number of skin problems.  Make sure to keep your toenails trimmed and filed to prevent both ingrown toe nails and hang nails.  If you are nursing a injury on your foot, take the proper precautions to protect it.  If you have a serious injury like broken toes, you probably should refrain from serious hiking until they have healed properly.  If your feet are sore listen to them.

  • Use mole skin or duct tape on blisters and hot spots.  If you get a blister or a hot spot while hiking, make sure to have a supply of mole skin or duct tape.  Mole skin is soft and has been used for decades to protect feet while hiking.  Duct tape is also a popular remedy on hot spots because the adhesive on the tape will not fail from natural sweating in your feet.  If you purchase either, make sure to buy high quality products.  Don't buy duct tape from the discount table, it will tend to role up.  If you have a popped or exploded blister, you should never but duct tape on it.  If you have an area on your foot that regularly blisters or hot spots, you may want to consider taping, mole skin, or duct taping the spot to aid in preventing a problem.

  • Never hike alone for long distances.  If you hike with a partner you will never be faced with having to hike on a twisted or sprained ankle.  If you are hiking in bear country, you should consider hiking in groups of four.  In the even of a severe injury like a sprained ankle, a person can stay with you and the other two can return for help or move a vehicle to a closer line to your point.  If you are hiking alone and you twist or sprain your ankle, do not unlace your boot.  The boot will help keep the swelling down, if you remove your boot after a sprain you may not be able to get it back on!

  • Use switchbacks going up and side step going down steep terrain.  When hiking in steep terrain, do not take a straight approach climbing up, putting tremendous pressure on your heels and ankles.  Zigzag up the incline if there is no trail, or use the switchbacks if there is.  When coming down a steep incline, side step down the hill leaning toward the hill side.  This will distribute your weight across your foot instead of on your toes, and if you fall down, you won't be falling face down the steep angle.

  • Practice safe procedures if you drain a blister.  General medical practice today recommends living with minor to moderate blisters.  Severe blisters should be drained.  If you decide to drain a blister, make sure your foot is clean and you are in an environment that is as clean as possible.  Use a sterile needle to lance the blister and careful drain using gauze to capture the fluid.  If you make several lancing attempts and can't get fluid out, do not resort to using a knife and cutting the blister.  Once drained cover with mole skin and keep protected.  If you have to hike on a freshly drained blister, make sure it is well protected with mole skin and in warm or wet environments, use duct tape to hold the mole skin in place.  Make sure to carry out all used medical supplies and do not dispose of them by burning or burying.  When you throw out your used medical supplies, store them in a sealed plastic bag.  If a blister will not go away, or is so severe that involves a major portion of your foot (or say an entire toe) you should see a medical professional.
     

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